Overexertion and Bodily Reaction

Detailed nonfatal data over 2021-2022

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has transitioned from an annual to a biennial (every two years) publication schedule. The final publication of a single year of cases involving days away from work estimates was for reference year 2020. BLS now publishes detailed data covering 2021 and 2022 for Days Away from Work (DAFW), Days of Job Transfer or Restriction (DJTR), and Days Away from Work, Job Restriction, or Transfer (DART) cases.

Overexertion and bodily reaction injuries and illnesses resulted in the most DART cases and the second most DAFW cases during 2021-2022. Prior to 2020, overexertion and bodily reaction was also the leading cause of DAFW cases, but was overtaken by exposure to harmful substances or environment. In 2022, 13 workers died and in 2021-2022, 1,001,440 DART cases including 521,350 DAFW cases were reported. This category includes several types of injury events:

  • Usually a non-impact injury or illness resulting from excessive physical effort directed at an outside source of injury or illness. Common worker activities include:
    • Lifting
    • Pulling
    • Pushing
    • Holding
    • Carrying
    • Throwing
  • Injuries or illnesses resulting from motion that imposes stress or strain on some part of the body due to the repetitive nature of the task. There is typically no strenuous effort (such as heavy lifting). Common worker activities include:
    • Typing, texting, using a mouse
    • Repetitive use of tools like screwdrivers, knives, musical instruments, or medical instruments
  • Injuries or illnesses resulting from a single or prolonged instance of free bodily motion. Common worker activities include:

This infographic provides an overview of the nonfatal trends. The data on nonfatal cases cover occupational injuries and illnesses and come from the BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) for 2011-2022. From 2011 through 2020, annual estimates are available for the number of DAFW cases (with or without days of restricted work activity). Starting in 2021, biennial estimates are available for DAFW, DJTR, and DART cases. This page highlights both DAFW and DART estimates. The latest estimate period available reflects cases occurring in 2021 and 2022. Because DAFW data transitioned from annual reporting to biennial reporting in 2021, care should be used when comparing trends. Explore the data details tab for additional information on demographics, industry, occupation, days lost, and historic trends.

See data details